Petri Mikael Lehtonen
Development Engineer
SSAB Raahe


Young professional’s career storyPetri Mikael Lehtonen

Over the years steel grades have become stronger and therefore harder to produce. In order to produce harder steel, we need to have a good understanding of our process capability and how we can improve it. 

In Raahe we work close together to improve our strip rolling process, which require a wide knowledge of how to make slab into the strip before next process steps. Another challenge for strip rolling is the constant pursue for a more sustainable production. 

Being development engineer in production department I daily work with issues such as solving rolling mill disturbances, improving yield and a normal state. There are also ongoing long-term projects to improve performance of hot strip rolling like increasing strip rolling availability and use of digitalization. 

Improving the normal state disturbances decreases in production line, and therefore our production becomes more effective. By avoiding unnecessary scrap production and disturbances we will become a more sustainable steel industry. It is very interesting to be part of developing the process and see how it improves and produces hard products more efficiently. 

During this year, we are aiming to replace two cooling pumps and motors which are originally from the year 1971. The new pumps can reduce energy by 2500 MWh yearly, an amount of energy that could warm about 250 houses every year. When the project is completed, waste will be reduced and our process has once again taken a step forward to become a more energy efficient production line.

The best thing about working as part of production department is that every day stands out, you never know what is waiting around the corner. I also think it’s brilliant that our production organization allows learning and growing within the company.